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IP Law Alert

Practical Perspectives on Intellectual Property Legal Developments

Category Archives: Biotech

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The FDA Releases New Draft Guidance for Demonstrating Biosimilarity

Posted in Biotech
On May 13, the Food and Drug Administration released a new draft guidance on the data needed to establish that a proposed therapeutic biological product is biosimilar to an approved reference product. This new guidance gives sponsors a roadmap, detailing the procedures needed to demonstrate biosimilarity between a proposed drug candidate and a reference product, and highlighting the types of data needed to support such a demonstration.… Continue Reading

PTAB Finds DNA Sequencing Patent Claims to be Invalid

Posted in Biotech, Patent
As we have previously reported, Inter Partes Review (IPR) was introduced on September 11, 2012, under provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) as one of new several tools for challenging the validity of granted patents in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). With an anticipated pendency of 18 to 24 months to final written decision upon filing of an IPR request, the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is presently proceeding to issue its first IPR decisions. Although a majority of IPR requests filed to date have been directed to patents in the electrical and computer arts, decisions are also being rendered for patents in other technology domains including the biological arts.… Continue Reading

Big Pharma Mutating from Small Molecules into Biotech Drugs

Posted in Biosimilars, Biotech
According to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, the pharmaceutical industry, particularly Big Pharma, has decidedly changed course, shifting its R&D focus away from small molecule drugs towards biotech products. Such biotech products are muscling out small molecules' prior domination of the top 10 drug product sales. For example, in 2012, biotech products accounted for 71% of the revenues generated by the world's top selling biopharmaceutical products. This remarkable growth mirrors the successful evolution of biotech research over the last three decades. Drilling down further, the Tufts Report notes that monoclonal antibody (mAb) biotech products saw the largest increase in growth over the last decade and now account for almost 60% of the biotech products being clinically developed by the largest pharmaceutical companies.… Continue Reading

California Moves to Limit Biosimilar Substitution

Posted in Biotech
California Senate Bill 598, which would prohibit pharmacists from substituting biosimilars for a prescribed biologic, unless the biosimilar is an interchangeable product which would not need physician consent or if the biosimilar exceeds the cost of the brand-name drug, recently passed the California State Assembly by a vote of 58-4. The bill which has since passed the Ca. State Senate by a vote of 30-2 has yet to be signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown and has prompted extensive lobbying efforts both in support of and against its passage.… Continue Reading

Jersey Strong: Biotech’s Continuing Strength in New Jersey

Posted in Biotech
According to a recent e-mail alert by BioNJ, some of the top Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical companies in the world call New Jersey home, just as other Life Sciences and high tech businesses continue to move into the Garden State. As a corollary, New Jersey boasts one of the top ten regions for recent STEM graduates to work, and venture capital investing in the technology sector grew in the second quarter of 2013.… Continue Reading

Gibbons Institute Program to Cover Biosimilars

Posted in Biotech
Why all the buzz about biosimilars? Biosimilars, also known as follow-on biologics, are biologic medical products whose active drug substance is made by a living organism or derived from a living organism by means of recombinant DNA or controlled gene expression methods. The evolving biosimilars landscape is of concern to companies here in the U.S. and worldwide.… Continue Reading

Norman IP v. Lexmark: Post AIA Joinder and the Rule 42 Trump Card

Posted in Biotech, Patent
In Norman IP Holdings, LLC v. Lexmark Int'l, Inc., a recent Eastern District of Texas decision, Chief District Judge Leonard Davis provided guidance on the application of Fed. R. Civ. P. 20 ("Rule 20") joinder and Fed. R. Civ. P. 42 ("Rule 42") consolidation in patent infringement cases post-enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act ("AIA"). Norman IP brought suit against Lexmark and others on September 15, 2011, one day before the AIA was signed into law. Norman IP later added an additional 23 defendants. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for improper joinder or to sever, and Norman IP alternatively requested that any severed cases be consolidated under Rule 42. The Court granted defendants' motion to sever and issued an order consolidating the cases for pretrial issues excluding venue.… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit to Revisit Myriad after Mayo Decision

Posted in Biotech, Patent
On Monday, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in the well-publicized Assn. For Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, et al. case ("Myriad") for the purpose of vacating the underlying Federal Circuit decision -- finding isolated DNA sequences from human genes as patentable subject matter -- and remanding the case for reconsideration in view of its recent ruling in Mayo Collaborative Services, et al. v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. ("Mayo").… Continue Reading

A Recent Clarification on Intervening Rights by the Federal Circuit

Posted in Biotech, Patent, Pharmaceuticals
The Federal Circuit recently found that intervening rights can apply to a claim that has been narrowed by argument only during a reexamination. In Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. v. HemCon, the Federal Circuit recently found that narrowing a claim by argument only changes the substantive scope of the claim for purposes of intervening rights. Specifically, a claim term that is changed during reexamination without changing a word in the claim can still substantively narrow the scope of a claim. Therefore, upon reissue of the patent, an infringer would have "... absolute intervening rights with respect to products manufactured before the date of reissue."… Continue Reading

Patent Reform Act of 2011 on the Horizon

Posted in Biotech, Patent, Pharmaceuticals, USPTO
On Tuesday, September 6, 2011, the Senate invoked cloture on H.R. 1249, also known as the America Invents Act, making it almost a done deal for passage of this Act. One reason that this bill has succeeded over its predecessors is that, with one major exception, there is little difference between the House and Senate versions. The passage of H.R. 1249 will mark the culmination of a 6-year process to pass patent reform legislation that started with H.R. 2795… Continue Reading

Biosimilars: Data Exclusivity and the “Patent Protection Gap”

Posted in Biotech, Patent, Pharmaceuticals
Several bills are currently pending in Congress establishing expedited marketing approval pathways for biosimilar drugs. The proposed pathways are analogous to the pathway for small molecule chemical drugs established by the passage of the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, commonly referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Act. The Hatch-Waxman Act includes a data exclusivity provision whereby the FDA is prohibited from approving a competitor's drug application relying on the innovator's data for a statutory period of time. Recent debates concerning the biosimilar bills have focused on the data exclusivity period. These debates highlight the differences between biological drugs and small molecule chemical drugs and why a longer exclusivity period may be necessary to fill the "patent protection gap."… Continue Reading